I recently cancelled the purchase of a home on the last day of escrow. This home is in the state of CA. The

Asked by Tom, Bay Street Viaduct Area, Savannah, GA Fri Apr 11, 2008

sellers and their agent had misrepresent the size of the home and certain repairs that were requested to be fixed prior to the removal of contingencies were not fixed. Now the sellers are planning on exercising their rights to keep the deposit. Is putting a lien on the property the only choice i have now if they refuse to release our deposit?

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Mark Roncone, , Naperville, IL
Fri Apr 11, 2008
Didn't you hire a real estate attorney when your agreed to purchase this home? If no I would ask for their advice and help now but it sounds like you will lose you deposit.
Web Reference:  http://www.nilhomeseller.com
1 vote
Heidi Golff, Agent, Ventura, CA
Wed Apr 23, 2008
We don't use real estate attorneys here in CA, we use realtors!

The California contract calls for automatic mediation when parties cannot agree on the return of a deposit. Look and see if you initialed the arbitration clause. If so, then you can also go to arbitration, but will be stuck with the arbitrator's decision. If not, you can acutally go to court and sue.

These things usually don't end up going that far. Things are said in the heat of anger that are later retracted in the cool light of day. Write a letter to escrow informing them that you want your deposit back, requesting a written response. Say as little about why you are cancelling as possible. Save that for the mediation. You can find a local mediator who is well versed in deposits. They help you set the appointment and fight for your money. You didn't say where your realtor is in all of this. Why are you not being informed and defended by that person? If you don't have one, make sure the broker for the seller gets a copy of the letter to escrow. Say as little as possible unless you have someone by your side. It is easy to accidently put your foot in it during a hot conversation with their broker. I hope someone was with you during the final walk-through who can verify the repairs were not made.

If they were made, would you still go through with the sale? Is it possible that you are getting cold feet? You may want to re-think the purchase if they make the repairs, or re-negotiate a lower price.
0 votes
Rebecca Cham…, , Palos Verdes Estates, CA
Fri Apr 11, 2008
You have a few days after any new disclosure/discovery to get out of the contract without penalty under California law, unless otherwise arranged. If your cancellation was within the time frame, then you should be able to recover your deposit. Were you represented by a Realtor?
0 votes
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